Back in Germany
Dat feeling, when you floor it again. Speed, speed, more speed. And navigation. We had my Lumia 520, my friend's Lumia 920 and Skoda's built-in navigation, all offline, to help guide us back to Dusseldorf. Everything worked like clockwork. Indeed, if you are keen on knowing your way to a destination in a deterministic manner, you can't go wrong with HERE maps. The pimpiest navigation around. I did not even bother testing some of the other Android solutions, hate me not. Much.
We trashed the car for another couple of days, mostly in the urban settings. Superb refused to eat too much fuel, no matter how hard we tried. It was utterly refined, and it did not rattle when redlined. I am wondering if there are big, cardinal differences between European and US models, based on my Jetta testing, really. It's supposedly the same engine. Must be the air. Plus more parking in town, more goodness from the sensors. Nice.
While in Dusseldorf, we also took our time to appreciate our cars. Classic Remise Dusseldorf is a museum slash center for vintage cars, a cargasm oasis for those in love with old cars. We spent several quiet, reverent hours touring the place, admiring the spotless collection of amazing classics, and marveling at the price tags. You also get glass cages for private collectors, so perhaps you'd love to see how someone parks a priceless original Porsche 912 while holding a cup of coffee in their hand. The whole time, gear changes and all. Gives you a perspective on life does it not?
Apart from this weird, psychedelic moment, the rest of tour was rife with child-like awe. Best of all, you can actually have the cars. For just a handful of Euros. A big handful, but still. Most of the fleet is drivable, so you just need to toss a bit of money, and they are yours. So close, and yet so far. The original Mercedes 300SL with the gull-wing doors, Lamborghini Dino, Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 1600, Jaguar E-type, the kind of stuff you read about in magazines, but never think you'd ever glimpse or touch. Actually, you don't really dare touch anything. Not because you can't. Because you simply do not want to spoil the perfection with your plebeian finger grease. Well, kind of puts my Opatija tour to shame, does it not. Or the Aventador sighting. But this plus Spa, hard to top really. Perhaps until the next time. Challenge accepted.
It's just the matter of money.
And then, a different kind of classic:
So what would you choose?
Now, the big question, if I had to select my favorite people's carrier for a lengthy trip. With Insignia, we did not have any dilemma, for there was just one car. Now, there's Ford C-Max, and there's Superb, too. But the Ford is not really a competitor here. While it does drive brilliantly, it feels like a lower-class model, and the 1.6-liter engine struggled offering decent economy. The bigger 2.0-liter units are better, simply because they do not need to work hard to give you what you need. This may sound counterintuitive, but that's how it works, and the diesel bill proves my point.
Insignia is a more refined driving machine across the entire speed range. Superb is just as good until you hit 150 km/h. The former has more sensors, the latter has higher quality gadgets, if fewer in numbers. Superb wins big time when it comes to space and luggage, Insignia is more frugal and offers a greater travel range. Superb is also more enjoyable to drive aggressively, because of the extra power and torque, while Insignia corners better at lower speeds. Ultimately, handling is in the hands of the Opel model, comfort and style in the hands of the Czechs.
There's another question here, though. What if? What happens if you use more powerful models, like the 170HP or 185HP Superb, or one of the better-rated Insignia? Does the overall feel change somehow? We can't answer that. And neither can we give you a simple recommendation on the best Eurotrip car. We will just have to keep on cruising.
If you want to enjoy yourselves, Germany is the place. Plenty of high-quality roads and tons of opportunity to speed up to the car's limits, whatever car. Sure, easier said than done, but quite doable. And if you do happen to have a close encounter with the local police, worry not, they are quite all right. Belgium is less fun, because they tend to fine people driving too fast. Go figure.
Our choice of Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI estate, with its 140 HP and six-speed DSG was an excellent one. We had tons of fun and memorable moments. The car served us faithfully, it was spacious and comfortable, it was precise, classy and useful, and everything worked great. The handling was quite decent, although a bit more finesse toward the top speed would not harm the overall product. It's a Jack o' All Trades, a family car with credentials for all sorts of activities, with a great price, even more equipment and low fuel cost. Sounds like a bargain. A full review coming soon. Stay pretty, dear readers.